Hurry, you won't be able to enter these races for much longer...Bewl 15 (Surrey, July 1)
An off-road circuit round south-east England’s largest stretch of open water, with a few tough hills thrown in for good measure.
Mansfield Half-Marathon (Nottinghamshire, July 1)
2007 sees a new course for this popular long-standing fixture, incorporating a generous mix of long downhill sections and moderately steep inclines.
Thompson Brothers Offerton 10K (Greater Manchester, July 4)
Expect to dig deep three times over in this challenging multi-lap course through Stockport’s oldest public park.
The Abbey 10K (Cambridgeshire, July 8)
Second staging of this flat, multi-terrain course across playing fields and traffic-free roads, suitable for both beginners and hot-headed PB hunters.
Felsted 10K (Essex, July 8)
Described on the RW forum as “as flat as a pancake” in comparison to other local fixtures (think the Tilty Hilly 5 and the Brentwood 10K), this scenic road race has definite PB potential provided the midsummer sun doesn’t beat down too strongly. Charting through a handful of pretty hamlets, a few gentle undulations are par for the course as the route carves through the rolling countryside, but these shouldn’t deter any novices keen to debut at this distance. A high return rate ensures a sense of camaraderie among the field, while the promise of a race memento for all finishers – last year there was the choice of either a medal or a T-shirt – plus a spread of post-event refreshments are sure to make this a hit among runners and spectators alike.More 10K highlights...
London Chest Hospital 10K (London, July 8)
Sherwood Pines 10K (Nottinghamshire, July 14)
The Beaver Castle 10K (Leicestershire, July 15)
Harrogate Town Centre 10K (North Yorkshire, July 29)
Billed as Leicestershire’s toughest road race, this scenic seven-miler enters its 24th year this month and continues to attract an ever-growing number of competitors despite its mid-week staging. Quiet country lanes take runners on a single anti-clockwise loop out of Hungarton, via a couple of testing inclines for which you’ll have to dig deep.
Turning your thoughts to the post-race BBQ might provide a much-needed incentive when the going gets tough, while those keeping a keen eye on the clock are sure to reap the rewards of the event’s unique prize system. All competitors to cross the finish within a certain time will receive a slice of a communal cash fund – you never know, armed with that information, you might just run your best sprint finish ever.More racing highlights in the Midlands...
Stratford Summer Six (Warwickshire, July 7)
Birmingham & Black Country Half-Marathon (West Midlands, July 15)
Crown Classic Telford 10K (Shropshire, July 20)
Northumberland Coastal Run (Northumberland, July 15)
Despite its humble beginnings – starting out as a challenge among 12 local runners in 1979 – this point-to-point fixture is now firmly established on the north-east racing calendar and is the recipient of consistently high RW reader ratings. Last year an 800-strong field braved oncoming winds to navigate their way across sand, trail and tarmac between the coastal villages of Beadnell and Alnmouth, before being rewarded with their technical finisher T-shirts.
The route offers less demanding contours than one might expect from a course that includes both beaches and clifftops, but relentless natural obstacles – tidal pools, sand dunes, and rocky terrain for starters – present entrants with a completely different type of challenge. Though the distance and terrain vary year on year – the 2007 tides mean the course measures approximately 13.2 miles – breathtaking sea views are an annual given. Sign up early to avoid disappointment – entries won’t be accepted on the day.
Puma Urban Escape Trail Series - Race 1 (Sussex, July 22)
Knowing that the team behind this new off-road series is also responsible for the infamous Hellrunner events might make you think twice before signing up, but don’t worry, these inaugural trail fixtures are guaranteed to be much less formidable than their devilish counterparts. Designed with both the novice trail runner and short-distance aficionado in mind, the series will encompass some of the most beautiful locations the south-east has to offer, starting this month in the picturesque grounds of Sussex’s Pippingford Park. Located in the heart of Ashdown Forest, it is run over a well-marked course (including some gentle undulations) with a variety of conditions underfoot, including forest tracks, heathland and lakeside stretches.
Saab Salomon Hellrunner: Scots to the Slaughter (Glasgow, July 14)
Idle Trail Race (West Yorkshire, July 15)
The Lumpy Bumpy 10 (Wiltshire, July 15)
Most famous for lending its name to the much-loved BBC Children in Need mascot, the town of Pudsey, near Leeds, is also renowned (in running circles at least) for its testing multi-terrain summer 10K. Certainly the course’s opening flat tarmac stretch does nothing to belie what follows – runners are soon directed off-road to a steep valley descent, followed by a steady climb through woodland, two stream crossings and a second sharp hill around 7K.
Nevertheless, despite such challenging contours, the race has attracted a loyal following over its 17-year history, praised time and again for its locale, finisher mementos and overall camaraderie. Two concurrent fun runs add to the event’s reputation as a great day out for the whole family – just be sure to leave any PB expectations at home.